Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Torn Dramaturgy: Francisca Morton

Humorous and imaginative, intimate and gripping, this visual theatre work invites the viewer into one woman’s inner world. Weaving physical theatre with kinetic art and an original piano score, Torn explores the delicate balance of our sanity when affected by deep loss. 

Accompanying Foley artist Barney Strachan creates a richly inventive soundtrack to this touching and sensual evocation of attachment. Beautifully designed and compellingly performed by one of Scotland’s most exciting new visual theatre companies.

What was the inspiration for this performance?
 Francisca Morton: I wanted to allow the piece to find itself. And to be genuinely born out of discovery. We explored the theatrical potential of a physical material, rather than using the structure of narrative or script. 

We used paper - it is malleable and adaptable, strong, delicate, opaque, translucent, smooth, textured, loud, quiet. Through much playing we came up with ideas. We collated those. Killed many and nurtured a few. The result is Torn.

How did you go about gathering the team for it?
If you want interesting, sensual lighting effects with a hand-made touch - go find Laura Hawkins.

If you want an excellent musician and composer who doesn't mind
getting up on stage and is at the same time easy on the eye - contact Barney Strachan.

If you want a focused, creative playmate willing to wing-it and try out ideas boldly with minimal shame - call Melanie Jordan.

How did you become interested in making performance?
I used to spend summer holidays making shows as a kid with my sister and cousins. Our family were an enforced audience. We were very insulted once when they paid us in silver foil bottle tops rather than 5ps!

But making performance is something I've always done. I studied my degree in Performing Arts and Dance at De Montford University and later Dance and Performance at the New Dance Academy in Arnhem Netherlands

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
I usually have a few visual snapshots in mind which guide the beginning of the process but if you truly improvise around ideas and allow scenes and ideas to emerge, it's always more interesting than trying to think it up yourself.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
I hope they will be intrigued and amused and immersed in this surreal world we've created, as if they are touring round the protagonist's brainscape.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
Don't offer the obvious, but don't get TOO weird.

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?

Yes, visual theatre.

Faux Theatre makes striking, visual theatre for children and adults. As well as Torn, which toured nationally and internationally in 2015, the company has also created Celeste’s Circus, a successful production for children which has been presented at venues throughout Scotland, and at the Tallinn Treff Festival 2013, in Estonia.

Torn has been developed by the company over the past three years with financial support from Puppet Animation Scotland’s Creative Fund and Creative Scotland.

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